Jew's Harp Guild official stand on the term "Jew's Harp"

The Jew's Harp Guild Board of Director's official stand on the term "Jew's Harp": The main purpose of the Jew's Harp Guild is to educate. The best way to educate is to reach the largest number of people. And to reach the largest number of people, the most widely recognized terms should be used."

There are more than 800 names world-wide for the Jew's Harp. "Jew's Harp" has been the most common English term for the instrument since the late 1500's. Thus, the Guild's preference to continue using that term. Once we capture your attention and educate you, you can choose your own term from the list of 800+!

Board Member/Festival Founder, Gordon Frazier, says it best, "The way to combat the perception of the name "Jew's harp" as a slur is not to try to change the language, but to improve the image of the instrument. We can do that by treating the Jew's harp as a legitimate musical instrument and encouraging others to do the same." (PLUCK, Spring/Summer '93).

So, for now, the term "Jew's Harp" will be used in all Guild publications and materials unless a direct quote is being used or a specific product is mentioned.

 Musicologist Phons Bakx of the Netherlands has compiled the nomenclature of over thousand names  for the Jew's harp from all over the world.
See: Namen Mhp.htm